One more lab approved for batch-testing and release of Covid-19 Vaccines

New Delhi : The Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been working continuously and tirelessly to improve the production, supply and administration of Covid-19 vaccines. In an important initiative to ramp up the speed of vaccination, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), has approved one more lab for testing and lot release of Covid-19 vaccines.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has authorised National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) as Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) for testing and lot release of Covid-19 vaccines.

In order to discuss the various aspects of Covid-19 vaccination distribution in India, a meeting was organised under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary on November 11, 2020. In the meeting, the ministries and the departments like Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) were asked to indicate to the Health Ministry if any of their labs can be converted for being used as CDL.

After due deliberations, DBT proposed two laboratories namely NIAB and National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS), Pune for this purpose. Funds from Prime Minister Cares Fund Trust (PM-CARES) were allotted for upgradation of these two laboratories.

Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had furnished a draft notification to the Union Health Ministry for notifying NIAB, Hyderabad as a CDL laboratory in response to which the Union Health Ministry has now notified NIAB, Hyderabad as a CDL laboratory.

It is pertinent to mention that NCCS, Pune has already been notified as a CDL laboratory on June 28, 2021 by MoHFW.

The notification of these two laboratories as CDL laboratories will improve vaccine production and will ultimately strengthen the vaccination campaign.